- Spent early childhood on the road with his mother, who performed in a traveling burlesque show.
- At age 9, moved to Panama, where his stepfather owned a nightclub.
- Attended the American Theatre Wing and Actors Studio in New York City.
- Career is indelibly linked to legendary filmmaker John Cassavetes. The two close friends worked together on multiple projects, beginning with Cassavetes' directorial debut, Shadows (1959), for which Cassel was an associate producer.
- Has appeared in three Wes Anderson films: Rushmore (1998), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004).
- 1968, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
- 1992, Sundance Film Festival — Special Jury Prize for Acting (Dramatic): Winner
- Dilyn Cassel — Daughter
- Matthew Cassel — Son
- Lisa Cassel — Daughter
- Elizabeth Deering — Ex-wife
- Pancretia Ann Cassel — Mother
- Seymour Joseph Cassel — Father
- Attended University of Miami, Miami, Florida, United States
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